Alto Garda Trentino - General information
For many - including many Germans - Lake Garda, next to Lake Como to one of the favorite destinations when it should go south on vacation. Great temperatures, blue and clear water, Italian Dolce Vita and lots of destinations around it.
The region around Lake Garda offers visitors a particularly mild Mediterranean climate, lush southern nature, picturesque villages and the magnificent surroundings of a wonderful mountain landscape. So there is something for everyone.
Due to its location between the Alps in the north and the Po Valley in the south, it also has other special characteristics - three regions of Italy share Lake Garda.
The north of the lake belongs to the region Trentino-Alto Adige, the west to Lombardy and the east to Veneto. The larger regions are divided into smaller provinces. Thus, the province of Trento (north), Verona (east) and Brescia (west) share the administration.
Nature is also quite different at the lake. While the northern part of Lake Garda is surrounded by rugged cliffs, often reaching the lake shore, the southern part of Lake Garda offers easier access to the lake shore. Olive trees, palm trees and a unique flora form the typical vegetation of this northern Italian region. The northern shore of the lake is appreciated - for example in Torbole - for bathing and inland water sports thanks to the strong and constant wind.
The Trentino-Alto Adige Region
The Trentino-Alto Adige region, i.e. the administration of the northern part, occupies a bit of a showcase position among Italian regions in the field of accessibility. The local authorities and associations have long been committed to removing architectural barriers. These include, for example, adaptations to public transport, such as equipping buses with mobile platforms for wheelchair users, the possibility of using beach wheelchairs on the beaches or, for example, in Riva del Garda, the mobile lift for the indoor pool "Enrico Meroni". In addition, there is a paraclimbing wall due to the Paraclimbing World Championship in 2011.
Tourism is strong both in the south and in the north and there is a huge amount of accommodation, including many accessible. In the resorts around Lake Garda there are over 250 hotels, resorts with holiday apartments and guesthouses of all kinds, which have a barrier-free offer. In addition to a holiday in a barrier-free holiday apartment, there are also barrier-free campsites on Lake Garda.
Local public transport
in the north of Lake Garda
On Lake Garda, most public transport consists of buses and boats.
Navigazione Lago di Garda
The boats of Navigazione Lago di Garda, for example, are barrier-free and so you can just go to the other side of Lake Garda and enjoy the view of the lake from here. Access to the boats and/or ferries is relatively easy thanks to the removable platforms (80 cm wide and equipped with anti-slip mats) and the interior of the boats/ferries is very spacious. They are also equipped with accessible toilets. Some of the ferries have a lift and there are reserved places/areas for wheelchair users.
The use of the boats of the Naviganzione Lago di Garda is possible for people with disabilities for a reduced price of 1,50 euro single and 3,50 euro return, one accompanying person rides free of charge.
More information in English and Italian can be found on the website of the provider:
Buses of Trentino Trasporti
In the Trentino region - i.e. the northern part of Lake Garda - the buses of line 1 and 2 (Trentino Trasporti) are barrier-free accessible. The bus stops are marked with the disabled symbol.
in the north of Lake Garda
At the northern part of the Garda Lake you can make some excursions.
On the road with the handbike
Arco cycle path from Arco to Lido di Arco - 5 km
Especially those who have their handbike with them are happy about some exercise and the sporty possibilities. For example, you can use the Arco cycle path and ride along the Sarca river, which flows into Lake Garda, through the vineyards of Alto Garda Trentino. The route is asphalted and has no particular gradients. Toilets are available in Arco.
Riva cycle path from Torbole to Riva del Garda - 4 km
Between Torbole and Riva del Garda, the beach, the lakeshore and the Riva cycle path along the coast were completely rebuilt between 1995 and 2000, connecting the two towns. It is possible to ride with a wheelchair or with a handbike, the entire "Alto Garda Trentino" - that is the upper part of Lake Garda - from the eastern area of Torbole to the western area of Riva del Garda along the lake, enjoying some very interesting views of the lake. This path is to be further developed in the near future, but is already a great way to enjoy the lake. The entire trail is paved. Toilets are available in Torbole at Piazzetta Lietzmann and in Riva del Garda at Punta Lido and Viale Filzi.
Who no own handbike has available, can look at the service of Remoove - here you can rent bikes that are also usable with wheelchair
As already mentioned above, there are beach wheelchairs available at some beaches, with which you can also go swimming in Lake Garda - if the water is warm enough.
Sabbioni in Riva del Garda
For example, on the Sabbioni beach in Riva del Garda. In the immediate vicinity is a parking lot, where also Disabled parking are to be found.
There are also three Sunbedswhich, with a height of 50 cm, are designed to make it easier for wheelchair users to move around, as well as a mobile showerwhich is equipped with a flexible hose. The Beach Wheelchairs, the couches and the mobile shower are an offer for people with disabilities and must be by telephone +39 348 2443867 be requested from the lifeguards of the beach. These can - if unjustified - also refuse the surrender. There is also the possibility of being accompanied into the water by a lifeguard. The use of the equipment is free of charge. The service is offered in summer until 25.08. between 10:30 and 17:30.
Indoor swimming pool "Enrico Meroni" in Riva del Garda
For those who prefer to spend the nice weather in the cool water, a visit to the swimming pool "Enrico Meroni" is recommended. Please enquire beforehand about the opening times, as the indoor pool is usually closed in August. The facility is equipped with a regular pool of 25 m to 6 lanes, a children's pool and a mobile lift for the disabled, which allows full access for the disabled.
Paraclimbing Wall - " Placche del Baone"
The Paraclimbing wall is a kind of climbing garden "without barriers" located in Arco. This is accessible to wheelchair users thanks to the use of, for example, suitable flooring and conveyor belts. We haven't visited the gym ourselves yet, but are very intrigued by the fact that climbing should also work with a wheelchair. We will report back as soon as we have tried it out.
Sports on the water
Sailing with the Archè
The Archè is a fully accessible sailing boat. You can easily get on board with a wheelchair. An existing backrest allows you to sit comfortably and yet keep a firm grip on the helm. If desired, skippers or sailors can be present for assistance. A unique and exciting experience on board the Hansa 2020, a 3 m long boat for two people. Sure to be super fun!
Kitesurfing on Lake Garda
The Circolo Alto Garda Kite in Riva del Garda offers the almost unique opportunity in Italy to try out the experience of kitesurfing independently and safely. You sit on a kind of wide kiteboard, the so-called Sitski - a seat similar to a monoski for skiing.
in the north of Lake Garda
Of course, there are other things to do on the northern part of Lake Garda besides sports activities. Especially those who want to have a bird's eye view of Lake Garda have two great options here:
Cable car to the Monte Baldo
Those who would like to go a little further south and view Lake Garda from above can use the cable car - from Malcesine - to Monte Baldo and enjoy the wonderful view from there. Not only the cable car itself, but the entire access to the gondolas is designed barrier-free.
Visit to the bastion of Riva del Garda
A brand new panoramic lift allows you to reach the Venetian Bastion from the historic centre of Riva del Garda in two minutes (entrance: Via Monte Oro). The lift, made entirely of glass, offers a great view of the lake and is meant to remind of the chairlift that was dismantled in the 1980s. At the bastion there is a restaurant including a bar. The arrival station of the lift is located on the lower floor of the restaurant, while the departure station is located in an underground building. The elevator ride covers 130 meters in altitude. The bastion is located at 208 m.
the east of Lake Garda
In the next article about Lake Garda we will deal with the eastern part in the province of Veneto.